Jun 28, 2023 - Things to Do

A unique performing arts complex debuts in Denver's RiNo Art District

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock attends the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new performing arts center. Photo: Courtesy of RiNo Art District

A 4,000-square-foot community and performing arts facility more than a decade in the making has opened its doors at Arkins Park in the RiNo Art District.

Why it matters: The city has an "incredible concentration of creatives," but lacks affordable spaces where they can share their work, events and performances — and this new space offers just that, according to RiNo Art District executive director Charity Von Guinness.

Details: The public venue — which is unnamed, but unofficially dubbed the Truss House — is expected to host a variety of programming and private events, city officials say. Many small cultural groups will be able to use it for free.

  • The space seats up to 200 people, with standing room for 450 across the ground floor and mezzanine levels.

The big picture: The performing arts facility is the cherry on top of the RiNo ArtPark development project, a fully reimagined 4.5-acre parcel along the South Platte River.

  • The first phase finished in August 2021 with a Denver Public Library branch, artist studios, an art gallery, and the new location for Comal Heritage Food Incubator, a restaurant and training program for aspiring immigrant chefs and entrepreneurs, which opens in July.

By the numbers: The new performing arts venue cost nearly $2 million to complete, the Denver Gazette reports. The ArtPark project in its entirety totaled $7 million and was funded largely through the city, RiNo Arts District and Elevate Denver bonds.

What they're saying: The project is a "culmination of … a lot of thinking outside the box about how we could breathe life and energy into an area of Denver that had, quite frankly, been perennially overlooked and underinvested in," Mayor Michael Hancock said in a statement.

  • "This is a powerful example of how we come together to use assets we already have to meet the needs of our community," he added.

What to watch: An ongoing list of performances and events at Rino ArtPark can be found online.

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